Most Irish now favour Lisbon Treaty

The Twenty-eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution is passed, enabling the country to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon, a referendum was held on 2 October 2009. The proposal was approved and represents a swing of 20.5% to the Yes side since the first referendum in June 2008.

Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland 2009
Yes or no Votes Percentage
Yes check.svg Yes 1,214,268 67.13%
No 594,606 32.87%
Valid votes 1,808,874 99.60%
Invalid or blank votes 7,224 0.40%
Total votes 1,816,098 100.00%
Voter turnout 58.0%
Electorate 3,132,475

The Treaty of Lisbon is an international agreement signed in Lisbon on 13 December 2007 that would change the workings of the European Union (EU). The treaty has not yet been ratified by all EU member states, as required for it to take effect.

The treaty would amend the Treaty on European Union (TEU, Maastricht; 1992) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC, Rome; 1957). In the process, the TEC is renamed to Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Prominent changes include more qualified majority voting in the Council of Ministers, increased involvement of the European Parliament in the legislative process through extended codecision with the Council of Ministers, eliminating the pillar system, preventing the provision in the Treaty of Nice (2001) reducing the number of commissioners, and the creation of a President of the European Council with a term of two and half years and a High Representative for Foreign Affairs to present a united position on EU policies. If ratified, the Treaty of Lisbon would also make the Union’s human rights charter, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, legally binding.

The stated aim of the treaty is “to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam [1997] and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action.” Opponents of the Treaty of Lisbon, such as the British think-tank Open Europe and former Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, argue that it will centralise the EU, and weaken democracy by moving power away from national electorates.


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